The Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) arrested a number of foreign nationals, including the British deputy ambassador in Tehran, for espionage activities in deserts at restricted areas or near the sites of missile exercises.
A video shot by Iranian drones and released by the IRGC’s intelligence arm on Wednesday clearly shows the suspects visiting restricted areas with ‘no entry’ signs.
“One of those identified is the British deputy ambassador who has gone to Shahdad desert in Kerman with his family as a tourist, but as the recorded images show, he is taking soil samples when a missile exercise is being conducted by the IRGC Aerospace Force at the time,” the televised report said.
The video showed Giles Whitaker, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tehran, and his family. “Whitaker was expelled from the city to which he had traveled after apologizing,” the report said.
Whitaker was reportedly an army officer before a long career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
One of those detained was identified as the husband of Austria’s cultural attaché in Iran. He had traveled to a village in central Damghan in Semnan province and sampled the area’s soil. He had already been caught filming a military district in Tehran, Press TV reported.
The clip also showed a picture of a third foreigner, identified as Maciej Walczak, a university professor in Poland, who was visiting Iran as a tourist.
“He enters the country under the guise of a scientific exchange with a university, but as tourists, they go to Kerman and Shahdad region at the time of a missile test, where they take samples of soil, water, rock, salt and mud. He is the head of the biological and biotechnology department of the Copernicus University in Poland, which is associated with the Zionist regime,” the report said.
In May, Iran’s intelligence ministry said it had arrested two European nationals who plotted to foment chaos, social disorder, and insecurity across the country.